Modern Hagiography: Steven Jobs and Recep Tayyip Erdogan
By Sam Vaknin
Author of "Malignant Self-love: Narcissism Revisited"
Steven Jobs had one important insight in his entire life: that people are imbeciles and should be treated as such. Prior to this epiphany, this college dropout had failed in everything he had done and touched, to the point of being ousted by a soft-drinks executive from the very company he had founded. By 1985, his products had been roundly rejected by both the robust business market and the fledgling home market.
Maybe his exposure to Pixar taught him that the vast majority of people being stupid, consumers are more interested in visuals, bells, and whistles (and status symbols) than in content, functionality, and substance. What matters is how the product looks, not what it does. Hence the iPod, iPhone, and iPad: breathtakingly designed contraptions with decidedly inferior functions. Jobs created the perfect “content” (read: junk) delivery vehicles because, as the obnoxious narcissist that he was, he homed in on the vulnerabilities and shortcomings of the members of his cult.
Yet, Jobs is universally lauded in the media as a visionary and a genius. Why this blanket endorsement? Is it merely the infamous herd mentality of most journalists and pundits? Is hagiography back in vogue? Is being bon ton more important than being right?
Indiscriminately fawning on public figures (recall Obama) is nothing new. But re-writing history the way the media have just done with Jobs is a nadir.
Erdogan, Turkey’s Prime Minister is another example of such unbridled and fatuous adulation. As Turkey’s potentate he succeeded to alienate the country’s two stalwart geopolitical allies (the USA and Israel) and to shoot his mouth off at polities and regimes near and far (from Greece to China.) Truly, he is nothing but an urbane version of Ahmadinejad, a newfound ally. Erdogan seems to prefer the company of Syria, Russia, Iran, Kosovo, and Bosnia-Herzegovina to the European Union and, more generally, the West. Steeped in anti-Semitism (the topic of a virulent play he had written, directed, and produced) and other peasant prejudices, he is far from being the brightest star in the galaxy. The list of malarkey and balderdash spewed up by this paragon of a new, Muslim Turkey is impressive in its inanity. Intellect is evidently not Erdogan’s strongest suit.
Yet, the international media hail this loser as the new Kissinger, replete with vision and the audacity to see it through. Why this oversight and deliberate blindness? Is it a sense of European guilt for having rejected Turkey’s advances? Does the dreariness of the landscape of world leadership make this backwater politician stand out? Is it his brave, principled stance against Israel (thus ingratiating himself with the Arab world)?
No wonder the Internet has become the prime source of news, relegating the traditional media, both print and electronic, to the dustbin. Readers can’t trust the press. One has to wade through several media outlets and to read between the lines to get to a semblance of the real picture. Far easier to accomplish these Herculean tasks online - or to give up on journalism altogether and to limit oneself to opinions and entertainment. Hence Steve Jobs and our brave, nescient world.
Most Recommended Comment
Skopje, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia